Cactus Dan tools...what now?

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

REPLY TO THREAD
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  3 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by Scott Ayers: Even if C4D had the best mocap tools around. I still doubt many people would use it. Because most C4D users are motion graphics artists. They're scared of anything CA related.

-ScottA
That is sadly the general impression but in my opinion it is not true. At least here in Germany there are lots of people using it for chars in connection with Archviz, ProductViz, all kind of 3D Anim etc. But that is mostly Mocap related anim. That is not High End Char VFX stuff but it pays them and does the job. But they almost all use 3rd party rigs and do not build their own because of the mocap mapping. So a Mocap data projector onto the Char object rigs would be huge for many people I think.

Great to see there is more for the CD tools. Good to know.
 
  3 Weeks Ago
@zeden,
I always forget about the Archviz crowd using animated characters. But if there really is a "lot" of these users. I don't understand why nobody is doing anything about the mocap situation?
The C++ API let's you build almost anything you want. And the Python API is catching up to it on every new release too.
We can also use outside things like Qt to make very GUI intensive plugins for C4D that the API is not good at.
If it really was something a lot of people would use. Then it's strange that it's being ignored by the plugin developers. They're always looking to make money.
Perhaps it's a matter of the workarounds being not bad enough to warrant the time addressing the problem?

-ScottA
__________________
My Gallery
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Quote:  Even if C4D had the best mocap tools around. I still doubt many people would use it. Because most C4D users are motion graphics artists. They're scared of anything CA related.

Well I beg to differ. It might actually be exactly the opposite. Motion graphics artists are used to edit clips on a timeline, and this is what mocap is all about : drag and drop motions to string and tweak them intelligently in a sequence. It's film editing more than animation. This is a mindset they understand. Mocap is their gateway to animation.I know because that's what I do.

Among other things, I do previz stuff with C4D, and only do character animation... through mocap. Because it's much easier and faster (when having the right tools) than traditional keyframing. I use a combination of home-made motion capture (neuron mocap suit) + canned or procedural mocap (mixamo, iclone, etc...) for individual characters, and for crowd shots, I use An(i)ma. it works pretty well.

I would be completely unable to produce a minute of keyframe animation in a day or two, and yet that's what I can do now.

C4D's NLE is pretty good, but the BIGGEST letdown for mocap in C4D, is retargeting. It is totally useless as it is. So if your mocap isn't matching perfectly to your rig (= very often), then you're screwed.

Then comes the lack of FK/IK standard rig to adjust the mocap in IK once imported (you can do it with an FK layer, but it can be a bit tedious).

Ideally, we'd have something like Ikinema Action in C4D, which is like a more flexible (and non Autodesk) alternative to Motionbuilder and Maya's HumanIK : retargeting, FK/IK blending and autocleaning all in one.

In the meantime I have to use an external cleaning solution and HumanIK in Iclone for most of the editing/tweaking/sequencing and only export the final result to C4D.

So honestly, given the big Motion Graphics community using C4D, Maxon should rather push Mocap tools first rather than traditional CA. It's a much better fit for their userbase.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
I did a quick search today on C4D & mocap. And I came across a plugin called "People In Motion". This plugin seems to be the kind of thing people are asking for?
From a quick glance it seems to be a mocap re-targeting type plugin similar to Harvester. But with some extra blending options.
I didn't see anything like an IK/FK rig in it though.

Is this plugin on everyone's radar?
Is it on the right track? Or is it another near miss like the Harvester plugin is for many people?

-ScottA
__________________
My Gallery
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Check here the author in this forum.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=1435815

You can buy here:
http://www.rodenburg-verlag.de/shop...-4d-r17-winmac/


Quote: You have rigged characters and like to animate them? Look no further. With People in Motion R2.0 the animation of rigged characters couldn’t be easier.
If you are using Characters from DAZ 3D (Genesis 2 or Genesis 3, Victoria 6 or Michael 6), Renderpeople (rigged characters), AXYZ Design (rigged characters), Adobe Fuse/Mixamo or Autodesk Character Generator you can just Drag&Drop them to the Plug-in and can start to animate right away. Other human character rigs can be used by simply connecting the joints with the Plug-in. There is also a rig builder included to add a standard joint rig the a character model.

To design a walk animation, we have a Walk Designer build right into it. This includes other typical movements, such as walking up or down stairs or sitting down/standing up. Create your realistic, funny or stupid walk with just a few clicks and controls. Additional IK controls for the Head, Chest, Hips, Knees, Feet, Elbows and Hands can be set up automatically for individual animations. Overlay manual IK animations with generic walk or running animations with a push of a button.

It all doesn’t stop there as we also build in a simple Crowd control. Use Staircases, Elevators, Escalators, Seats, Curves or Wall objects to control the actions and waking paths of your characters. All this is directly build into Cinema 4D.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by EricM: Among other things, I do previz stuff with C4D, and only do character animation... through mocap. Because it's much easier and faster (when having the right tools) than traditional keyframing. I use a combination of home-made motion capture (neuron mocap suit) + canned or procedural mocap (mixamo, iclone, etc...) for individual characters, and for crowd shots, I use An(i)ma. it works pretty well.

I would be completely unable to produce a minute of keyframe animation in a day or two, and yet that's what I can do now.

C4D's NLE is pretty good, but the BIGGEST letdown for mocap in C4D, is retargeting. It is totally useless as it is. So if your mocap isn't matching perfectly to your rig (= very often), then you're screwed.

Then comes the lack of FK/IK standard rig to adjust the mocap in IK once imported (you can do it with an FK layer, but it can be a bit tedious).

Ideally, we'd have something like Ikinema Action in C4D, which is like a more flexible (and non Autodesk) alternative to Motionbuilder and Maya's HumanIK : retargeting, FK/IK blending and autocleaning all in one.
That is very interesting, it sounds precisely like the setup I would like to use in the future (mocap under Cinema with a simple suit). I have not yet made any tests, so I wouldn't be able to judge the quality of C4D's tools... but it sounds like there is an awful lot of other tools involved. I may need to have a look at the retargeting issues and program my way around it if possible. From the very setout, I see logical problems that would make mocap difficult (like interactions with a static environment). Need to watch some documentation on this.

I wonder if Cactus Dan's tools had a more functional mocap suite built in... but with the situation as it is, it may be a long time before it becomes functional and available again anyway, so a bespoke and trimmed solution could be unavoidable.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by EricM:"C4D's NLE is pretty good, but the BIGGEST letdown for mocap in C4D, is retargeting. It is totally useless as it is.
 So if your mocap isn't matching perfectly to your rig
 (= very often), then you're screwed.
Then comes the lack of FK/IK standard rig to
adjust the mocap in IK once imported
(you can do it with an FK layer, but it can be a bit tedious)."


This!! ^
I use iclone Pro which has built in retargeting templates
for MAX biped, Maya Human IK & Daz Genesis, in its 3DXchange app.
I then use Iclone's real time avatars to easily & quickly create my character
motion and retarget it to the Daz genesis proxy rig in 3DXchange and export to BVH.
In Daz Studio  I add facial animation &lipsynch, even dynamic clothing
and export to C4D Via .obj/MDD for lighting & rendering.


What is nice as that I can send new/different MDD data  to the same mesh
in C4D without having to export another .obj file as long as the point count
is not changed in Daz.
I have characters, from my current movie project, in C4D that were exported
over a year ago still getting new MDD data for each new acted scene from DAZ. 
 
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Well, to Dan's credit, his plugins came out long before C4D had anything like them.  It started with basic limb IK which didn't work well at all in C4D at the time and evolved into tools which I consider better than most of what I have to use in 3DS.  Not only do the CD tools work well, but they're sooooo forgiving and adjustable compared to the rest.  Literally half of the features in 3DS don't actually work for me.  You mention the spline IK-- I remember how he figured out the methods to make it able to really twist and rotate without flipping out.  3DS Max's spline is so bad I never use it even if really needed it.  He was pretty excited about his spline solution and we had some long discussions about it while riding horses in the hills.  I have some rigs where, due to reasons in Max, I can't remove the spline stuff so I've permanently disabled it just to keep my sanity.  In the end I suspect most of Dan's sales were because people had given up on the built-in stuff for one reason or another. 

As for the FBX exporter, you're totally right.  There's no documentation and it took a long time and a lot of experimenting to make that work.  It was his best seller and probably each sale had a frustrated story behind it.  He was always working to improve that thing as people would find bugs, so it has had a lot of real-world testing. 

You know, Dan was an inspiration.  I knew him from the 90s and saw him learn 3D software from start to finish.  He was entirely self taught.  I have sitting here a pile of the math books, animation books, and programming books he used to go from a print-shop employee to a well regarded developer.  I always saw that as proof that anyone could, with hard work and focus, get where they wanted to be.  I know I need to learn much of the stuff in those books but its daunting and he's not around anymore to answer questions :(
 
  2 Weeks Ago
^That makes me feel a little bit better knowing that Dan fought with it too.
But it also pisses me off. Because there's absolutely no reason for MAXON to keep  their file exporter plugin code a secret. They used the same public FBX SDK that any other person uses. There's nothing they did that was a trade secret. And having it would have helped me out (and maybe Dan too) a great deal.
During the learning process I also found a bug with the MAXON .fbx importer. And since the code is not provided. I can't fix it myself.
It's understandable for most things to be kept a company secret. But some things like file exporters using public SDK's should be open source.

Money and politics once again getting in the way of common sense. It's makes my blood boil!

-ScottA
__________________
My Gallery
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by Horganovski: But I eventually realized (hey I'm a slow learner sometimes) that they weren't doing this deliberately - it was simply that the userbase is not, in general, using C4D for character work, so really why -should- Maxon keep working on the CA stuff until it's as robust as something like Maya, they don't have a userbase out there making CG movies with it. Sure there are  shorts and commercials and even people like MdotStrange making feature length indie animation movies (guess what plugins he uses though..) but the vast majority of Cinema users don't care about CA work. And that's fine.


It is slightly ironic that a software that calls itself "CINEMA 4D" - implying that you can make works of CINEMA with it, which of course involves virtual 3D characters - is mostly used for motion graphics and product/archviz these days.

I think it was a seriously bad decision by Maxon to aim at product/archviz over CG animation and VFX proper.

They had the artist-friendly user interface, the fast workflow and the stable, reliable Win/Mac cross platform code to create a really powerful virtual cinema creation tool.

They chose to become a CADviz and Broadcast graphics tool instead.

That market, in my opinion, is where C4D will stay stuck for at least the next 5 - 6 years.

By that time, the CG filmmaking crown will likely belong to Houdini in the high budget segment, and Blender in the Indy segment.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by Scott Ayers: I did a quick search today on C4D & mocap. And I came across a plugin called "People In Motion". This plugin seems to be the kind of thing people are asking for?
From a quick glance it seems to be a mocap re-targeting type plugin similar to Harvester. But with some extra blending options.
I didn't see anything like an IK/FK rig in it though.

Is this plugin on everyone's radar?
Is it on the right track? Or is it another near miss like the Harvester plugin is for many people?

-ScottA
Hi Scott,

yes Arndt's plugin is aiming to close the gap EricM and I are mentioning. He understood the problem and the general need for a tool like this.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by skeebertus: It is slightly ironic that a software that calls itself "CINEMA 4D" - implying that you can make works of CINEMA with it, which of course involves virtual 3D characters - is mostly used for motion graphics and product/archviz these days.

I think it was a seriously bad decision by Maxon to aim at product/archviz over CG animation and VFX proper.
Buisness wise it was the best decision they ever made. That market is 20-50 times bigger and it exploded their user base. I think the success of C4D is tightly connected to the introduction of the Mograph module. But a thread like this shows there is a lot of work to do for them.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
From outside it seems was a wise decision by Maxon. I would love when i'll be old to read detailed  histories of DCC applications.
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by zeden:Buisness wise it was the best decision they ever made. That market is 20-50 times bigger and it exploded their user base. I think the success of C4D is tightly connected to the introduction of the Mograph module. But a thread like this shows there is a lot of work to do for them.




The reality, as I see it ,is this:
As long as Maxon can presumably remain a profitable
software publisher in the CAD/viz /Broadcast graphics market.
Why commit development resources to Character tools
when serious Character driven Filmmakers are using other solutions?? 

The same with VFX to a certain extent.

Sure I could transition to Houdini at some future time.

Right now I am running ancient version of C4D (studio R11.5)
I have MODO, and Realflow,Iclone Pro+3Dxchange
 & Natural Motion Endorphin(Full license with Data export.)
Lightwave 2015 and or Blender for Smoke FX.

So as a single operator& digital filmaker, interested in Sci fi based
Character driven stories still running R11.5 , what have I missed this past decade??.

More render engine options??( prorender ,Cycles4D etc)

The world of CG has become over run with
 All manner of physically based render options
accessable to most people now.

Cloth simulation on ambulating characters??
Still truly possible in Cinema4D R19

 The optional $50 USD optitex plugin
for Daz is a better option for me.

 At this point in history I see no reason for Maxon to try to compete 
with others in those areas if they are still 
selling licenses to motion Graphics Artists.

Last edited by ThreeDDude : 2 Weeks Ago at 06:08 PM. Reason: spelling
 
  2 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by ThreeDDude: The reality, as I see it ,is this:
As long as Maxon can presumably remain a profitable
software publisher in the CAD/viz /Broadcast graphics market.
Why commit development resources to Character tools
when serious Character driven Filmmakers are using other solutions??
Because as shown in this thread advanced CA tools are needed by C4D users. Plain simple.
 
reply share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.